It’s October. The mornings have been cold. There has been frost. Sometimes at night you can see your breath. People are losing their minds over pumpkin spice lattes. Halloween is coming.
I used to hate Halloween. I never understood the point in it and I certainly wasn’t interested in celebrating it. Then of course, university happened and it turned into another excuse for house parties and a good reason to wear a crocodile onesie and put flour in my hair. Then I carved my first pumpkin (no YOU are late to all parties) three years ago and now I’m fully on board.
I’ve been to some really good Halloween events in London over the past few years, and the outlook is good for 2016. Now that Facebook events are used as mass, clickbait invitations it’s much easier to find out what’s on. You can just sort of stare at your phone screen and events will come to you.
I’ve already picked what I’m doing with my All Hallows’ Eve weekend and it will be glittery and sound like the mid-90s. If you’re undecided and you’re LDN based are bound, these are the most fun looking soires my research had turned up:
1) That’s so 90s- The Craft night – The Big Chill House Bar- Kings Cross
This is where I’m spending Halloween. The promise of a night of 90s music and an excuse to wear something Posh Spice would have been enthusiastic about in 1996 is too much to resist. It’s also a celebration of the film The Craft, which is now 20 whole years old.
2) Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens Fire Festival
If you don’t fancy a full on Halloween night out you can go to this for free and see pyrotechnics and dancing among other stuff, all performed in front of a massive bonfire.
3) Stranger Things Party- Hoxton Square Bar
If you’ve watched Stranger Things then you’ve had a successful 2016, congratulations. I love Hoxton Sq Bar and Kitchen, so I trust this will be a good party. Also there’s so much good fancy dress and 80s clothes to be worn for this.
4) The Grand Halloween Ball, The Clapham Grand
This is mostly in this list because I lived really near here for quite a while and had some really fun nights there and I’m not ready to let go. They actually do events really well, so expect good decor and cobwebs and face paint.
5) Seven Deadly Sins- The Coronet
This is one of the more expensive nights on this list with tickets currently at £20, but the Coronet do events on a big scale. This will be more than just a night out in a club. There’s over 100 performers lined up and the place is big enough to roam around and not get bored, but small enough that you won’t lose everyone you know within five minutes.
6) Deadly Disney Halloween Pub Crawl
Shoreditch, of course. There is something that seems quite fun about dressing up as a dead, ghostly version of a Disney character. I’d probably do this for the fancy dress alone.
7) Halloween Bottomless Brunch- Bounce
If you want to be tucked up on the sofa by 5pm then this is for you. Bounce do a really good bottomless brunch event every Sunday and there’s a Halloween special this year. Your ticket includes bottomless prosecco, endless pizza and a live DJ.
8) Isle of Fright- Ravens Ait
Ravens Ait is a little island in the Thames, by Kingston- you can get there on the train from Waterloo in an hour. I went to uni in Kingston and once went here after a night out on a pedalo, obviously. It’s really pretty and is definitely something different- like spending the night at a place that could be a wedding venue, on a river. It starts early and ends by midnight, so a good balance of night out/home by 1am. They’re doing hot food, DJs, boats and fancy dress.
9) The Walking Dead Special- Shaka Zulu
This is Camden’s most elaborate restaurant/bar/club. My sister once saw Stephen Hawking having dinner here, so there’s that. It’s really amazing inside, so even if you don’t make it for Halloween I recommend it anyway. It looks like a grand African museum and there’s often dancers with peacock tails roaming around. Or Lion themed conga lines. Anyway, for Halloween, they’re turning the place into a scene from The Walking Dead, which sounds amazing. If you don’t have some kind of fancy dress (it says even a pair of fangs on their website) then you can’t go in. So plan ahead.
10) Halloween special at The Roof Gardens
The photos from the Halloween night they did last year look amazing. This is a really nice venue, so if you want something a bit different and more chilled out than a club, I think this will be a good bet. It’s in Kensington, so plenty of places to go for a nice pre-fright night meal too.